WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday made the following statement on Peace Corps Volunteers now being eligible for COVID-19 unemployment assistance:

“I’m glad that Peace Corps Volunteers whose service has been cut short due to COVID-19 can now qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation for their efforts to serve our country abroad,” said Murphy. “But we can turn this loss into an opportunity. We must allow the returned volunteers to still serve America at home in the interim, and we can do this by swiftly passing my legislation as soon as we get back into session. Maintaining our Peace Corps Volunteer cadre and redeploying them post-pandemic is the best thing—and the right thing—to do for U.S. national security and foreign policy.”

Last month, Murphy and U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced bipartisan legislation to help Peace Corps volunteers who have been suddenly evacuated from abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation would make sure Peace Corp volunteers can qualify for unemployment insurance like everyone else, can get back into the field quickly once the coronavirus subsides, and can continue to serve at home in the United States by allowing them to be quickly channeled into the AmeriCorps or similar service programs.